65 Experts Chime In On How To Stay Motivated To Write

everybody writesOne of the biggest questions I get is how do you find the time to write?

Which, of course, I already answered a while back. Because that’s what a good content marketer does right? We are supposed to define the questions our audience is asking. And then simply answer them!

This is a huge topic, but it is especially important this week as my good friend and content marketing mentor, Ann Handley finally released her book Everybody Writes.

Ann describes Everybody Writes as “your go-to guide to creating ridiculously good content that attracts and retains customers. Because in today’s content-driven world, writing matters more, not less.”

I had an advance copy and was really blown away by the inspiring insights and helpful advice.

This is a must-read book for any content marketer, aspiring blogger and book-author hopefuls. So buy it. Now. (I don’t get any proceeds, I promise).

Similarly, a few weeks ago, content marketer Jane Cui reached out and asked me to contribute my thoughts on a related question: how to stay motivated to write?

I was honored to participate, without knowing that 64 other awesome writers, authors, and entrepreneurs would also be adding their own perspective. When Jane published her expert author tips, I was thrilled to be listed along folks like:

  • Tom Peters (believe in what you write about)
  • Jason Falls (writing keeps me sane)
  • Lee Odden (educate people)
  • Mandy Edwards (beat the competition)
  • Gini Dietrich (it drives 80% of our revenue)

So buy Ann’s book. And while you’re waiting for it to arrive, check out all 65 experts tips on how to stay motivated to write.

My Own Tips On How To Stay Motivated To Write

1. What is your motivation to sit down everyday and write?

When I first started writing, I published my objectives for writing and made a commitment to posting twice a week, every week (excluding vacation and holidays). My objectives was simple: to help people and contribute to the online conversations happening in marketing. I was inspired by a quote from Seth Godin who said that he imagines there is just one person in the world who needs to hear what you have to say. So I think about that one person and hope my message reaches them and helps them.

2. How do you keep a regular writing schedule?

I also think it’s important to manage your personal brand. So I schedule time on my calendar to write. I have found that deadlines can be the greatest source of inspiration. Writing is like any good habit, you have to stick to a regular schedule and build that writing muscle. So while it used to take me hours to write two 500-1000 word articles a week, I can now accomplish my goal in just about 2 hours.

3. What do you do to increase productivity and avoid procrastination?

My productivity hack for staying motivated and productive: I write myself emails with story ideas. Sometimes I will even write the majority of a post. But I tell myself it is just a “note.” That way I take the pressure off myself to format and link to sources and find images.

And please follow along on TwitterLinkedIn and Facebook or Subscribe to the B2B Marketing Insider Blog for regular updates.

Michael Brenner  is a Top CMO, Content Marketing and Digital Marketing Influencer, an international keynote speaker, author of "Mean People Suck" and "The Content Formula" and he is the CEO and Founder of Marketing Insider Group, a leading Content Marketing Agency . He has worked in leadership positions in sales and marketing for global brands like SAP and Nielsen, as well as for thriving startups. Today, Michael helps build successful content marketing programs for leading brands and startups alike. Subscribe here for regular updates.

6 thoughts on “65 Experts Chime In On How To Stay Motivated To Write

  1. >> So while it used to take me hours to write two 500-1000 word articles a week, I can now accomplish my goal in just about 2 hours.<<

    Yes, I compare writing to exercise or sports. As you do it more you get into better shape and can write better/faster, and rather than running out of ideas there are more ideas than time to write.

  2. Great post, Michael. Ann’s book sounds like a great read. Your tip #2, Keeping A Regular Schedule, is the most useful. I have developed a routine of writing just about every night. I start with my idea and create the points and key takeaways. Then I explain. Both my schedule and structure have allowed me to write more effectively and in less time.
    Thanks for the other 2 writing tips! I like the point about imagining that 1 person out there needs to here what you have to say! That is a great way to stay motivated.

    1. Thanks Rodney! I am really happy to hear you found this helpful. I think the regular schedule is the biggest one for me. I sometimes feel a slave to it the commitment but am always happy once I complete the task. Most important is the ability to connect with folks like you through the writing. Thanks, as always, for the support!

  3. I also find regular schedules to be helpful in developing and sustaining the habit. But at some point you have to get away from the keyboard and screen and go outside and talk to people.
    To generate new ideas, I have found that I do well when I care or feel strongly about something. This often happens during casual conversations. If I can convey my idea well, it resonates inside my mind and the act of writing it down later becomes easier.
    I have also observed something strange about online conversations – in forums, social networks, chat portals. Firstly if you are writing there, you are bound to have strong opinions about the subject. Also, the fact that there are people reading instantly and providing feedback means that I am consciously trying to write properly. Evernote is an incredibly helpful tool in the process later – all I have to do is copy my writing in those forums into a new note and I can expand on them later.

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